A massive feral boar and its brood were caught rummaging through the dumpsters behind an elementary school.
Parents from the Hong Kong school expressed concern for their children’s safety, but some activists argue that the boar is doing nothing wrong.
“Wild boars have been demonised by hunters, local media and people who misunderstand them. In fact, if you don’t provoke them, they will not attack you. They are actually afraid of people,” animal rights activist Roni Wong told the Hong Kong Free Press.
Wild boar are native to the region, but their natural habitat has shrunk due to urban sprawl. Now these boar can be seen regularly in urban areas. Local communities often form wild boar hunting parties to keep the feral hogs at bay. Activists like Wong and his friends are trying to save these boar and encourage citizens of Hong Kong to co-exist with the animals.
Citizens are encouraged to contact the authorities after encountering a wild boar “to reduce the threats posed to human safety and property.” Wong is advising the public to “stay clam. Don’t call the police. Give space for them to leave. And enjoy the encounter.”
“Many people misunderstand that coexistence with wild pigs means spoiling and hugging them,” explains activist Ying Ho. “All we are asking is to respect wild pigs as members of the community. If you see them, don’t chase them away. They will return to the woods. We can coexist peacefully.”
Wong is concerned that many critics mistake the intention of his activism. “Some people think wild pigs are cute and can become pets. They feed and visit them – I think this has crossed the line,” Wong explains. “Our role is to tell people that it is enough to respect wildlife. We don’t need to portray them as cute and increase contact with them, as this will only harm them and make them reliant on us.”